Social Media is a great platform to share information about your brand and connect with your target audience. As important as it is for a brand to connect and share information with the target audience, what’s more important is also listening to online chatter.
Prism , a social media agency in Dubai has put together the following guide to help you better understand the importance of social listening and how you can practice this for your business. Remember it is important to get listening now, before your competitors do so on your behalf.
What is Social Listening?
According to the Hootsuite Social Media Glossary, social media listening can be defined as “The process of finding and assessing what is being said about a company, topic, brand, or person on social media channels.” This covers a variety of ways to do so including direct brand mentions on social media, trends of the market, what is being said by your competitors and what sort of posts receive the most engagement.
Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite explains,” “The process of finding and assessing what is being said about a company, topic, brand, or person on social media channels.”
Think of it as cooking, you wouldn’t put a pot of stew on the fire without regularly checking on it, tasting it and making sure it doesn’t burn. Similarly, your social media strategy should be the same case. It is vital that you pay close attention to not only your audiences reaction but also what else is going on with your competitors.
Social Listening vs Social Media Monitoring
Both these terms are often used in replacement of the other; however there is a difference between the two. Monitoring can be described as a micro analysis whereas listening is a macro analysis.
Social media monitoring can be defined as searching for and collecting data or mentions directly related to the brand, industry and audience conversations. Social listening however is listening and analyzing the information obtained and acting on it. Social listening includes watching for conversation patterns, tracking the online sentiment and drawing conclusions based on these conversations.
Why does it matter?
There are a gazillion reasons why social listening is important. We’ve narrowed down the most important reasons why.
- Customer care efforts; as social media listening is all about paying attention to what is being said and jumping in to respond when it is required to fix a unpleasant situation.
- Getting feedback on a specific product is done best through social media. For example what your customers love or hate about your new product, what their favourite features are and etc.
- Lead generation can be done via social listening as well. By publically highlighting how important your current customers are to your business to your future customers.
- Find influencers and advocates by keeping an eye out for those who are actively engaging on social media.
- Find top talent by looking out for job-seekers or those who are experts in your specific industry.
- Competitive analysis. You will get insights to what your competitors are doing and saying online through social listening
As you have a better idea of the importance and benefits of social listening, how do you better practice it? When determining the best strategy, you should consider the keywords and phrases related to your industry that you should monitor. Here are some points to get you started:
- Your own brand’s name (including misspellings!)
- Your competitors (again, including misspellings)
- Industry buzzwords
- Brand slogans
- Your CEO or public representative’s names (and misspellings)
- Campaign names or keywords
There are various tools and apps available online, some are free and some come for a price; that you can use to help you with your social listening efforts. Such are:
- Google Alerts
- Twitter Advanced Search
- Social Mention
- Hootsuite (We are huge fans of Hootsuite here at Prism)
To efficiently use these tools, remember to:
- Create live news feeds to stream the chatter about your competitors
- Set up different monitoring functions to monitor specific keywords
- Understand and analyse what is being said about your brand or product
Social media listening is valuable to any business to ensure they stay ahead of the industry and at the same tie anticipating and exceeding the customers’ expectations.
Prism is a Dubai based social media agency that can help build your brands presence across various platforms. Having worked on social media accounts for various brands across the board, why not give us a call today and let’s work together and take your brand to the next level. We do amazing photography and Videography too.